Friday, December 17, 2010

We Wish You A Merry Christmas!

This will most likely be the last time I post until 2011. We are leaving on our Christmas trip to Utah and California this weekend! We both are SO excited!! I just wanted to share a small piece of news. I was released from the Relief Society Presidency and was called as the 1st counselor in the Primary. I love the primary. I’m so excited to spend time with the kids and I know they will teach me so much…they already have! I also will be teaching the sunbeam class (3-4 year olds) because our branch is so small here, but I love the sunbeams in our branch so I’m happy to be their teacher. However, I am new to all the sharing time stuff. The Primary President told me about the website sugar doodle, I know I’ll be using that a lot. Any other great sharing time ideas out there? Luckily, I have a sister who has been in Primary for almost 10 years…so I know she has lots of good ideas, right Kell?

Also, I was able to open my first Christmas present last night since it is too big to take with us. I have been wanting this since I saw it 6 months ago. I’m so excited to hang it up in our bedroom! 2010 001

Lastly, I just wanted to wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a crazy, fun NEW YEAR! I’m so grateful for all my family and friends. I love you all so much!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My lampy lamp

I have been wanting one of these cool floor lamps forever, but I just couldn’t spend $100 or more on one. But today I found this one for half price and I like it more than any others I’ve seen. My Mom wanted to see a picture of it, so here it is

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I also got these on sale. 2010 012

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lions and Tigers and BEARS

Okay, so maybe they’re aren’t lions and tigers here, but there are definitely bears.  First, let me tell you a story from last week. Usually Denis puts our garbage can out in the mornings before our garbage man comes, but last Sunday night I had a brilliant plan. So before we went to bed I pulled our garbage can out on the curb, there is something you should know about our garbage can, it is “bear proof”. Everyone in our neighborhood has these bear proof garbage's…except for our friends down the street who burnt theirs to the ground, but that’s another story. I feel like they are “people proof” too or maybe just “Lisa proof”, because of that one time when I took bags of garbage out, who has two hands to unlock the dang thing?

Anyways, back to the plan, I pulled our garbage out onto the curb, but I left the lock undone. Mwhaha! It was my own personal “bear trap”. I looked out the window multiple times that night wanting to see a bear having a feast on my front lawn, but nothing. My plan was brilliant in theory, except for when it backfired. Monday morning Denis and I woke up to find a perfectly undisturbed garbage can. Stupid bear. Well looks can be deceiving, later that morning a new neighbor came over to tell me that a bear got into our garbage last night and it was all over our yard, but she picked it up for us! Oops. I felt really bad, but I wasn’t going to tell her I did that on purpose, I mean what kind of a jerk leaves their garbage unlocked for a bear? Let’s just say this neighbor is getting a really nice Christmas present this year.

As you have probably guessed or seen on my facebook, last night was the first time we saw the bears! Right as I was drifting off into some weird dreams about my brother gaining 200lbs in one week just so he didn’t have to go on any rides at Disneyland when we went after Christmas, I heard a loud noise and I asked Denis what it was. He said, “lightening”, which I knew was highly unlikely since it wasn’t raining, thundering, or even close to doing either. But hey, I gave the man a break, he was tired and it’s hard to be logical at night. So I got up and peered really creepily out the window and that’s when I saw it - a huge bear! And there was a baby bear with her! Needless to say I screamed, woke Denis up, and we watched them roam around all our neighbors yards, knocking over locked garbage cans.

Now I feel like I finally belong to the base neighborhood. Many times, our neighbors would talk about “the bears”, but we hadn’t had any encounters or sightings of them. But that all changed last night, my friends, it was awesome. Hopefully, next time I can get some pictures for you.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finished!

Finally, I feel like the wall d├ęcor on one of my walls is finished. I just applied the vinyl lettering on the wall. I love it!

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Flowers Help

Man, today really sucks. Like one of the worse days I’ve had in a looong time. I know it’ll be okay because I’ve experienced over and over how Heavenly Father turns hard times into a time to grow and learn. Speaking of growing, Denis stopped by during lunch and brought me these….

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Flowers help, but having Denis helps the most.

PS Sorry for being a little evasive about what exactly “sucks” today, it’s personal. But don’t worry someday I will share.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You just can’t go wrong…

So I was looking for a new recipe to try and I found one on http://www.ourbestbites.com/ that involved chicken, bacon, cheese, and ranch. I don’t know about you, but I just don’t think you can go wrong with those ingredients. Obviously, this isn’t a particularly healthy recipe, but it was like eating little puffs of heaven. So if you want a try it, here’s a look and the recipe for Chicken-Bacon Stuffed Pizza Rolls.

(I know these pictures aren’t very good, so don’t judge this recipe on my poorly taken shots. There are two reason why I’m not a food blogger. First, because I have nothing original to offer the world of food, following a recipe just isn’t that hard. And second, because I’m not very good at making the food look good in a picture.)

 

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Chicken-Bacon Stuffed Pizza Rolls
recipe by ourbestbites.com

1 roll refrigerated pizza dough* (or make your own)
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
2 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil or melted butter
sharp cheddar cheese (I used 75% sharp cheddar and 25% mozzarella)
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
about 1 C shredded, cooked chicken.
3/4 C mayo
3/4 C milk

First take 1 teaspoon of your ranch dressing mix and combine it with 1 1/2 T parmesan cheese. Set aside. Combine the remaining ranch mix with 3/4 C mayo and 3/4 C milk to make fresh ranch dip and place in the fridge to chill.

Preheat oven to heat specified on pizza dough package. Usually it's 400-425 degrees.

Unroll your pizza dough onto a lightly floured surface. Pat or roll the dough so it's about 12" by 8". You're going to want to cut it into 24 squares, so just eyeball it if you need to. Use a pizza cutter to slice the dough into 24 squares.

Place cheese and desired toppings on each square.
When all of your dough squares have cheese and toppings on them, carefully lift up each square and wrap the dough around the toppings.

I grab the four corners first and then squeeze the seams shut. Then place them seam side down in a lightly sprayed pie pan (or similar sized dish). Brush with melted butter or olive oil and sprinkle with the parmesan-ranch mixture.

Place your rolls in the oven. I've noticed baking time really depends on the type of dough I'm using. Whether it's different brands from the store, or homemade dough, they all take different amounts of time. Set your timer for 10 minutes and check on them after that. They may take up to 15 or 20 to be done. Take them out when they're lightly golden on top.
Serve them warm with a side of freshly made ranch dressing for dipping.

Note:
These can also be baked individually in a mini-muffin tin. This might work better for serving depending on the situation. You're making 24 rolls, so it fills up the pan perfectly. They cook quicker this way than in a pie pan so keep an eye on them. Mine only took about 8 minutes whereas the ones in the pan took about 13-15.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It was short, but we had a blast!

Beach time
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We made Denis into a (hot) merman or “manmaid” according to Steph. 2010 184
Thanksgiving dinner…yummy!
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Kayaking. Never going to do that again and that’s all I’m gonna say about that. 2010 200
We are so thankful that Steph and Mike spent the time and money to come and visit us for Thanksgiving break. I don’t think they know how much I needed it. It was so fun to show them around, but mostly just to hang out. Thanks guys, love you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kayaking

My sister and brother are coming to visit for Thanksgiving and while they are here, we thought it would be fun to go kayaking. There is only one problem…I’m freaked out! I actually love kayaking, but that love is conditional. It needs to be on a lake, where only medium size, harmless fishes are dwelling. Kayaking in the bay on the ocean is a completely different story. Last night I had all these frightening scenarios bopping around in my mind as I went to sleep…

What if a shark bits my paddle off? What if a shark starts bumping the kayak trying to dump us into the water so it can have us for breakfast? What if a shark leaps into the air and smashes our kayak in half and then eats us for breakfast (I’ll admit that one may be a little far fetched). What if a whale shallows us and has us for breakfast (hey it could happen, it happened at Sea World and that was even in a controlled environment)? What if a whale tips us over on accident as it swims by a then a shark eats us for breakfast? What if an alligator eats us for breakfast (are there alligators in salt water?)?  What if an octopus wraps its tentacles around our kayak and drowns us?

Right now I’m looking over my shoulder thinking a shark is going to be standing there ready to eat me! Yes, I know that is impossible. Hopefully, I can just imagine that I’m kayaking on a lake, but that is going to take some incredible mind power. Has anyone else kayaked on the ocean? Any comforting words for me?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Finally got me some argyle

I’ve always wanted an argyle sweater ever since I took a religion class at BYU with my friends Scotty and Elisha, where it seemed like every class at least one of us would show up wearing something argyle. But I’ve just never found an argyle sweater that I love and that loves me back…until last week. So in memory of the passion and love that Scotty, Elisha, and I have for argyle I just wanted to post a picture of my new sweater. Old Navy clearance rocks, $12.49 for this gem.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Count Down!

4 days till I get to see my Daddy!

14 days till I get to see my sister, Steph!

and

38 days till I get to see my whole family in Utah!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Red Flag

So I realized today that I probably haven’t been the greatest wife the past couple of weeks. What made me realize that? Well, Denis praised me highly this morning because I cooked him breakfast, made the bed (all by myself), and packed his lunch…which took all of 15 minutes. Seems ridiculously simple and not really that heroic, right? And it’s even more pathetic because I’m not working and don’t really have anything to occupy my time right now.  I just wanted to take this opportunity to apologize to my incredibly patient husband who loves me despite my many, many faults. I promise I’ll be a better wife this week, but I can’t guarantee that I’m not going to do something crazy like “hypothetically” cry hysterically because there is a bug in the house…so maybe my apology can cover all the insanely dumb things that I have yet to do this week too. I’m sorry Honey, I’ll be better, I love you!

My friends, pray for Denis…he needs it! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear John,

I like to remember you on your birthday, but it’s hard not to think of you today too. I just wanted to tell you how much I miss you and love you. I have lived these memories many times since you left us:

I love how Mom always tells me that you were my “second mother” when I was a baby. I remember one time when I was around 7 yrs old, I kept begging you to give me a hug, but you wouldn’t cause you were too cool for high school. Then I started to cry so Mom & Dad made you give me a hug and when you did you picked me up clear off my feet and hugged me tight. I was so happy that you baptized me, I realize how special that was even more so now. I remember how much I missed you while you were serving a mission, I wrote you every week. I miss hearing you speak Spanish. Everything we did was always more fun when you were around, you made it exciting. I miss watching you tease Mom, knowing that even though she was saying she wanted you to stop, the light in her eyes said otherwise. I loved watching you be around Braden, he was everything to you. I remember one time after I got done babysitting Braden you gave me the last half of your Cold Stone ice cream, everyone knows that is the way to my heart. One of my favorite memories was when we watched Ken Jennings play on jeopardy every night together and when you happened to know one of the answers, you thought you were so awesome.

Of course, you had your faults and you made mistakes, but who doesn’t? I believed you learned and were learning from them and that’s all any of us can really do. And I’ll never forget the night of November 4th, 2004, watching Mom and Dad be told about your passing. To me time stopped and although I heard what they said I didn’t believe it, I couldn’t because I knew how much pain I was going to feel. Sometimes I still feel that same aching, heart stopping pain like two days ago when I was driving home from the grocery store, but I’ve learn that it’s okay to cry and to grieve because that is how I heal. I know that I have not seen you for the last time, even in this life I have felt you near me. Like one time  when I hugged Dave I felt like I was hugging you, occasionally I can see the same teasing light in your eyes through Mike’s, I know of your strength when I am around Dad, and I feel of your spirit when I’m with Braden. My dearest brother, I miss you today and will love you forever. I can’t wait to see you again!

John137

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Seriously Awesome Week

Okay, Orlando was amazing. I’m SO happy we got the chance to go! We bought year passes to Universal Studios so we know we’ll go back. I was so excited to see the Harry Potter park that I even bought Denis and I some HP t-shirts to sport while we were there. Nerdy, but awesome. Surprisingly, (because I hate the movies) my favorite ride at Universal was The Mummy.  Here’s some of my favorite pics at Universal Studios

 

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Going to Hogwarts for the 1st time

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Hogsmeade

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The portraits in Hogwarts were so cool…they talked and moved, just like in the books. And they looked so real!

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We didn’t get anything, but it was awesome to see.

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Denis drinking butter beer in the Three Broomsticks. That stuff is delicious!

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That one is for you Phil. Sadly, I thought the Simpson’s ride was pretty lame.

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Can’t wait to go back!

We found out some greats news while we were in Orlando, any active duty military (and three dependents) can get in free to Sea World! So of course, we had to go…it was free! I hadn’t been since I was really little and I didn’t really remember it, but I loved Sea World!

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This is one of the first things we saw when we walked into the park, cute huh?

 

Waiting for one of the shows to start.

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See the big screen behind the whale? Yeah, well, Denis and I were on that. They asked active duty military and their families to stand up and the beginning of the show so Denis and I slowly stood, there weren’t very many others there. Next thing I knew I was looking at a 40 foot “me” on the screen…pretty scary.

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Dolphins are better than whales, that’s all.

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This coaster was crazy awesome! When you sit down they have the things that come over your shoulders and they also lock in your feet…and then it pulls your feet back so you are going HEAD FIRST through the whole ride…feels like you’re flying.

Lastly, and probably one of my favorite things about this trip is that we went to the Orlando temple while we were there. When we were in Utah there was a temple 10 minutes away in any direction, but when you don’t get to go every week or month…it feels different when you walk in. Even thinking about it makes my heart ache to go back. I love it there. I felt like I was home. So if you are close to a temple and you haven’t been in a while…go for me, okay?

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

PLEASE HELP!!! We need your “likes”

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See this picture? I don’t want to have baked 280 cookies over 4 hours for nothing! We need your help in five simple steps:

1. Go to facebook

2. Go to this link www.facebook.com/#!/iheartTY (This link is also posted on Denis and I’s profiles.)

3. “Like” the I   Tyndall page at the top of the page.

4. “Like” the 500 Cookies movie that I posted. (You can watch our movie too).  This is what needs to be “liked” for us to win!!!  It’s located here if you can’t find it: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/permalink.php?story_fbid=137427706309064&id=151754309965

5. “Unlike” the I   Tyndall page (if you want to)

This will take you under 30 seconds and if we get the most to “like” our movie then we will get $250 for winning the contest. PLEASE HELP!!!!! We would really appreciate it!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The very bottom

Yesterday, Denis walked in the door from a day at his conference in Orlando and he said he had something for me. I was very excited, cause any one who knows me knows that I love surprises and gifts and this was both! Guess what it was? The very bottom of an ice cream cone. Denis said he knew it was my favorite part and since he couldn’t keep the ice cream from melting he saved it for me. Maybe that doesn’t seem like an exciting present to anyone else, but I loved it! It said that he thought about me while he was “at work”. It told me that he knows me better than anyone else. It let me know that he cared. And most of all it made me feel very loved. Who knew that the very bottom of an ice cream cone could mean so many different things? Now I have two reasons for loving the very bottom of the ice cream cone. 1. Because it is delicious and 2. because it will always remind me of that time Denis saved me the bottom of his ice cream cone in Orlando and that will remind me how amazing it is that I get to be married to Denis. menu_ice_cream_cone

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Yeah that’s my pumpkin.

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I did it! I actually carved a pumpkin with a pattern and carving tools. Usually my pumpkins look like a three year old did it, but this year I decided I would put some time into it. The only sad thing is that Denis and I carved these before we left for Orlando so they will be sitting in our fridge for 8 days before we get back and 10 before Halloween…yeah, I think they are pretty much mush by now. Now that I know I can do it, if these pumpkins are mush when we get home we’ll just go get two more and carve some more for Halloween night.

My pumpkin is the owl sitting on a tree limb. Denis’ pumpkin is the masterpiece haunted house! Maybe in a few years I can try to do something as hard as that haunted house.

We’re having a BLAST in Orlando, I’ll post pictures this weekend when we get home.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Roots

I ask myself this question every day, “When I’m I going to love Florida?” Because I’m a bad person, most of the time my mind answers by automatically jumping to all the things I despise about it. I think I do that because I don’t want Utah to feel like I’m cheating on it. Yes, I realize I’m talking about a state like it’s a person…it makes no sense, but love is often irrational. Do you know how many times people have told me that I need to plant my roots here? Why do they say that? Because, maybe they think I’m unhappy in Florida because I don’t love it. But that’s far from the truth. I’m very happy.

Just because I don’t love Florida, doesn’t mean I don’t like Florida. I like it. I like the beach. I like where we live. I like that we’re close to a lot of fun places. I like that I’m experiencing different things. I like that Denis and I are having an adventure together. I like the friends that I’ve made so far. I like that I don’t have to work full time. I like it all. But I’m stubborn, seriously stubborn and because of that flaw I refuse to plant my “roots” here. Roots don’t grow in the sand here anyways.

The hard thing for me is I try to love Florida, I try everyday. But it just isn’t happening, and I really don’t expect that it will. I don’t  think I should have to feel ashamed that I don’t love it. Why is that a requirement to some people? To love the place you live? I think sometimes it’s okay to like the place you live and look forward to the future when you find somewhere you will love. I don’t feel like it’s somehow wrong that I don’t want to plant my roots here.

However, I will enjoy it for the short time we’re here and I know I will probably miss it when we’re gone, but I know we are not staying here permanently. I don’t know where we’ll end up, but I do know that someday we’ll be in a place we love and our family will grow and bloom there. Then maybe I’ll finally plant my roots in some fresh, rich Utah soil ;) Haha, okay maybe it won’t be Utah…but probably. We’ll see.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

How does she do that?

I was at Wal-Mart the other day and I saw this wall of school supplies and they had tons of sticky notes/note paper and it reminded me that I needed some for our desk. I was about to pick one and then decided against it because we still had a few sticky notes left. A couple days after that, Denis and I got a package in the mail from my Mom. Guess what was in it? Yup, note paper. How does she do that? I swear she can like read my mind sometimes. All through college she would do that. I would come home for Sunday dinner or to do my laundry and she would have shampoo, flips flops, or food...it was always something I really needed and sometimes something that I just wanted. Maybe you'll laugh at me, but that note paper was a tender mercy. When I pulled it out of the package I felt like Heavenly Father was saying, "I know you. I'm here. Be happy. I love you." Now every time I look at it or use it I remember that it means I have an awesome Mom who loves me and still thinks about me even when I'm so far away and I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father for that!!





Aren't mom's the best?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A General Conference like no other

No crisp fall air. No trees changing color. No going to dinner with the girls during Priesthood session. No cinnamon rolls after Priesthood. No watching conference on TV. No riding the Trax. No crowds of what seems like millions of Mormons. No looking at all the anti-Mormon signs the protestors have outside the conference center. No spending time with family. During our conference weekend we didn’t have any of that. But you know what we did have? We did have a big Saturday conference breakfast. We did pull over our red love seat in front of our computer. We did watch conference online. We did cuddle together through all of the sessions. We did have dinner before Priesthood with some friends. I did get to play with our friends CUTE little girls during Priesthood and read them bedtime stories. We did have two families over for dinner after the last session on Sunday. We did feel the Spirit. Yeah, it was a General Conference like no other, but it was still wonderful and full of new traditions. I think the only thing that matters is that we listened and we heard the messages that the Lord wanted us to hear. So this weekend I learned that no matter where you are in the world or in your life, whether you’re with family or not the Spirit will still teach you the things you needed to learn if you are ready to listen.

Here’s to a six more General Conferences in Florida, may they be as amazing as this one :)

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Embarrassing Moment of the Month

I’d like to share this moment with you so you all can feel better about yourselves today knowing that there is someone out there (me) that is dorkier (is that a word?) than you. You’re welcome America. This is even worse than last month when I was running and screaming up and down the beach for a good 10 minutes to get away from a horse fly, all the while Denis was laughing so hard he couldn’t get up.

I went to the gym this afternoon to lift weights because I do every Wednesday. Today, I thought I would run a quick mile after being inspired by the fatties (I say that with  respect and love) last night on the Biggest Loser, who were running at speed 7 on the treadmill. If they can do 7 for a couple of minutes than I can run a mile at 8 no problem. So I did…I ran that mile and it felt great!

After that it was time to lift weights. I started lifting, but after a couple machines I started noticing people were giving me the double take look. Was I that smokin’ hott when I worked out? So feeling good, I kept going. But after another couple of weird looks I decide it probably wasn’t because I was smokin’ hott…maybe my headphones are too loud? So I turn down my music. Still getting the weird looks. It would be logical at this point for me to look at myself in the mirror to make sure everything is all good, but that doesn’t really cross my mind. I always try to avoid looking at my flab jiggling around when I’m at the gym. After I finish, I walk out to my car and I approach the door the same time as an older man, another weird look from him as he holds the door for me, but I’m too distracted to think anything about that because I have “All the Single Ladies” playing on my iPod.

I’m driving doing a little dance in my car to my music…when suddenly I look in the rear view mirror and this is what I see!

Except it was worse than that because I wiped some of it off. It was that Biggest Loser mile that did it before I started lifting, I was sweating more than I usually do. I laughed all the way home! No wonder people were looking at me weird, my face was melting. So the lesson I learned today is not to run a fast mile in the middle of the day when I have all my makeup on….mornings from now on.

In other news, I’ve started breaking up my cardio workouts. I use to just run and run and then run some more, but now I’m doing the Elliptical and bike too. And I feel like these are starting to look better because of it….

However, I’ve got a long ways to go on these….

Not flexing…

Flexing…

Don’t feel bad if you can’t see the difference, because there is none! I’m working on it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is what I do.

A lot of you ask me what I’m doing with all my free time…some days I wonder that myself. But I try to keep busy and organized. I have looked for a job (not too hard), but haven’t really found anything that interests me and if I’m going to work again, I’m going to do something I want to do, not something I feel like I have to do because we need the money. This is probably the only time in my life that I will have the luxury so I’m taking full advantage of it. I’ve decided to start my own business. At first I thought it was going to be a breeze, but it’s much more complicated than I thought. Denis and I have just started on the website, hopefully we can figure it out. Here’s a sample of what I’m doing and I need your help, please vote for which design you personally like the best…it’ll help me as I keep making more.

Option #1

Baby Annoucement 3

Option #2 Baby Annoucement 5

Option #3

Baby Annoucement 6

Thank you to all my friends/family that are letting me use their babies as models on my website, couldn’t do it without their cuteness!

PS If you are willing to let me use your baby or your wedding/engagement photos on my website, I need more! Lots more! Just email them to lisamarie.clayson@gmail.com, thanks :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

I'm so ready!

A new Mormon message was sent out today. I usually don't watch them, I open the email just so it isn't bold in my email box anymore. But today, I took the time to watch it. Don't worry it didn't make me sob uncontrollably or anything. Right at the end of it there is a voice clip from L. Tom Perry and immediately I felt peace. So I just wanted to say that I'm so ready for general conference and I'm more excited for it than I have been in a couple years!!

The Missing Piece

Monday, September 13, 2010

They are my Mom and Dad & I love them.

So I’ll admit it. I cried for like two hours today after my parents left, lame I know. I won’t see them again until December and that’s a long time! But we had a blast while they were here! We showed them all around the places we know so far (which isn’t very many, because we’ve really only been here for a month).

We had lunch in Mexico Beach and Denis came over and met us for his lunch break on Friday.

We visited the Tyndall AFB beach and then later had ice cream at Pier Park for dessert. My Dad tried this new flavor called toasted coconut, it was so good!


On Saturday we went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and spent the morning at the beach and ate a picnic lunch.

(Dang he's hott!)

And lastly, we had dinner on the water at the Shrimp Boat, where I tried my first Red Snapper! It was delicious!

On Sunday Denis and I had to speak in church, my parents were happy about that. It was great to get to introduce them to people in our branch.

(Sorry, I don't have a picture of me or Denis at the pulpit speaking...I thought that might be a little awkward)

Today my house feels so empty, I hate it. Thank you so much Mom and Dad for visiting, we loved having you!

Who is coming next? :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Remembering

Denis already posted about Kirtland, which was really fun, but we also celebrated our two year anniversary there. It was my turn to “plan” the anniversary and I must say I’m really bad at it. Good thing Denis is so laid back. I think this is how it went down as we were in the car driving to Kirtland…“So, um, is it okay if this counts as our anniversary trip?” I was going to plan a weekend in Nashville on our way home from Ohio this weekend, but both Denis and I agreed that we just really want to get back home as soon as possible. And since neither one of us knew we were having our anniversary in Kirtland, we didn’t get any gifts for each other. However, I stunned myself with my “on the spot” brilliance and came up with the idea to write each other love letters. I think we’re going to make that a tradition because that was better than any present he could get me! I’m not just saying that to be all cheesy and crap, the letters were amazing and definitely journal worthy. Even though we didn’t have some grand celebration this year for our anniversary, it didn’t matter to us. We talked about our favorites parts about our wedding day, our engagement, and how we starting dating. We celebrated by remembering. By remembering how we fell love is how we know our love has grown even more since.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kirtland

“…go to the Ohio; and there I will give unto you my law; and there you shall be endowed with power from on high;” – Doctrine & Covenants 38:32

Disclaimer: Yes, this is Denis writing the blog, and yes, my pictures are all cute-looking and stuff.  I am testing a new picture plug-in that I found for Lisa…hope it doesn’t take away my man card

We went to visit historic Kirtland, OH last weekend to get away from my class in Dayton and since Lisa has never been!  I have been to Kirtland with my family in 2000, but a lot of buildings have been restored since then per request of President Hinckley, so there were a lot of new things to see!

Here’s a brief background about Kirtland for those who may not know:  Though the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began in upstate New York, Kirtland was the first official headquarters and gathering place of the early church.  The prophet Joseph Smith, shortly after establishing the church in 1830, received revelation that four missionaries (including Parley P. Pratt and Oliver Cowdery) should go and preach to the Lamanites (Native Americans) on the borders by the Lamanites.  These missionaries departed for the border of the United States which was then western Missouri.  On the way, Parley suggests to stop by his old stomping grounds in Ohio and teach one of his old preachers, Sidney Rigdon.  Soon, Sidney Rigdon is converted after reading the Book of Mormon and many people from his congregations also are baptized into the Church.  Within a year of the Church’s organization, there are more members in Ohio than New York.  Joseph receives revelation by the end of 1830 to leave New York and have the members gather to Ohio.  Thus began the vital stage of church history in Kirtland, Ohio!

Kirtland is an amazing place of faith and history.  Kirtland was the place where the church continued to grow and become organized.  The first First Presidency, the first quorum of twelve apostles, seventy, bishop, high priests, and stake were all organized and/or called here.  The first temple was built here.  Revelations like the Word of Wisdom, the three degrees of glory, priesthood keys, and other visionary experiences happened here and were witnessed and recorded by many.  So many members worked hard and gave up so much to help many of the poor Saints moving into the area.  They took time building up the area, many knowing that they would be leaving it behind, which happened in 1838 when most departed for Missouri.  It really is a remarkable place!

We spent Saturday morning touring the temple and got to see the pulpit where the heavens were opened and Joseph and Oliver Cowdery saw Christ who accepted the temple, followed by Moses, Elias, and Elijah, who each gave important priesthood responsibilities.

After that we saw the Whitney store, a cool old sawmill and ashery, the Johnson Inn, and Isaac Morley’s farm.  Later on Sunday we went out to Hiram and toured the Johnson home where Joseph and Emma lived for a time and also where Joseph was tarred and feathered.  Overall, it was a great experience and we had a very rewarding time there!